Reintroduced last year, BMW claims the rear-wheel-drive M5 has "supercar handling" — though it's also promoted for "outstanding everyday driving qualities." When equipped with a seven-speed sequential manual transmission, the M5 can accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and can reach 120 mph in 15 seconds. The sequential manual transmission incorporates Drivelogic, which offers 11 gear-change options.
Variable M differential locking is installed to deliver power to the wheel with the most traction, even in extreme conditions. The M-calibrated Dynamic Stability Control system has two driving programs available, and can also be deactivated. With a braking system adapted from the auto racing world, the M5 can brake from 62 mph to a standstill in less than 120 feet.
Sport sedan purists will be pleased to hear that the 2007 M5 can have a conventional six-speed manual transmission. A tire pressure monitoring system is standard, and the M5's navigation system gains real-time traffic information. Soft-close doors are available.
The M5 has a unique front fascia to distinguish it from other 5 Series sedans; the side sills are modified and the wheel arches are more prominent. Standard wheels measure 19 inches in diameter and hold Z-rated performance tires. The sedan has "M" gills in the front fenders, quad tailpipes and special rocker panels with a sharp accent line.
Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights with adaptive lighting are standard. The M5's specially calibrated aluminum suspension adjusts to driving conditions and operates with Electronic Damping Control, which offers three modes: comfort, normal and sport. Quickened power steering has two levels of power assistance.
Heated M Sport front seats with 16-way power adjustment for the driver are installed in the Merino leather interior. MDrive lets the driver select preferred performance and handling settings for instant recall later. Brushed-aluminum interior trim is standard, but two types of wood can be specified instead. Park Distance Control, a navigation system and a Logic7 premium sound system are standard. A head-up display is optional.
Under the Hood
The M5's 5.0-liter V-10 — which has double-VANOS variable valve timing — generates 500 horsepower and 383 pounds-feet of torque. The V-10 drives a seven-speed sequential manual transmission with steering-wheel paddles or a conventional six-speed manual gearbox.
All-disc antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags and Dynamic Stability Control are standard. Rear-seat side-impact airbags are optional.
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